Grosjean set the 11th-fastest time in Q1 with a lap of 1:37.575 around the 5.554-kilometer (3.451-mile), 21-turn track. Magnussen was 15th quickest with a lap of 1:37.934. Only the top-15 drivers move on to Q2.
In Q2, Grosjean earned the seventh-fastest time with a lap of 1:36.732 to make the top-10 cutoff and advance to Q3. Magnussen, battling a water pressure issue on his Haas VF-18 during the session, was 13th with a 1:37.309.
Both Grosjean and Magnussen ran exclusively on the Pirelli P Zero Pink hypersoft tire in qualifying.
Before Grosjean, Magnussen and the rest of their Formula One counterparts participated in knockout qualifying, they had one final practice (FP3) to dial in their racecars for a quick lap around the track. Both drivers started on the Purple ultrasoft tire before transitioning to hypersofts 22 minutes into the hour-long session.
Grosjean ran 13 laps and set the seventh-fastest time with a 1:38.304 on his 11th tour. Magnussen also tallied 13 laps and earned his best time on his 10th lap – a 1:39.612 that put him 14th overall.
Romain Grosjean: “It was a good qualifying. To be fair, my first run in Q3 was one of the best laps of my career. I crossed the line and knew there was not much more on track. It was good. I was happy. It was great to be in Q3 once again, adding to our tally for the year and especially at a track where we were not sure we’d be competitive. Tomorrow’s going to be a long race. It’s going to be interesting to see what we can do on the hypersofts, but I’m looking forward to it.”
Kevin Magnussen: “I didn’t quite have the pace today, for some reason. I was just a little bit behind. The car was obviously good for Romain. He seems to be going well this weekend. Who knows, though, maybe it’s an advantage tomorrow to not start in the top-10. Hopefully, it is. I would have liked to have been a bit further up, somewhere around 11th. If you can’t get in front of the midfield in seventh or around there, it’s possibly better to be 11th. I’m 13th and it’s still not over from there, that’s for sure. We’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”
Guenther Steiner: “We had one in and one out for final qualifying. We were hoping to have both cars up into Q3 today. The cars were obviously fast. Kevin had an issue with his car. It was losing water pressure and it damaged the floor. Romain did a fantastic job on his lap. I don’t think there was a lot more in it. Qualifying seventh for the last race of the year is good for the whole team. The car is fast, so I think Kevin can make some ground up tomorrow. Hopefully, we can get both cars in the points.”